Saturday, August 16, 2014

Versailles mayor wants to start official study of merging the governments of Woodford County and its two cities

"Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott said Friday that it's time to study whether merger of the Versailles, Midway and Woodford County governments would be beneficial to residents," Greg Kocher reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

"At its next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Versailles City Council will discuss a first reading of an ordinance 'proposing the formation of a commission to study the question of unifying' local governments into a 'unified local government'," Kocker writes. "Woodford County Fiscal Court and at least one of the city councils must pass similar ordinances" in order to create a commission. County Judge-Executive John Coyle told Kocher that no citizen has asked him to look at merger and he didn't know what the fiscal court would think about it.

If a city passes an ordinance, its mayor would appoint commission members with approval of the city council, with the number "based on the ratio that the percentage of the population in the mayor's city bears to the population of all participating cities," Kocher reports.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/08/15/3381818/versailles-mayor-wants-study-of.html?sp=/99/322/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

"Traugott said 'two prolonged battles with the county' over city-county funding of parks and recreation and joint funding of emergency management prompted the ordinance," Kocher writes. "The dispute over parks and recreation is being resolved, but the fiscal court voted this week to end its participation in the funding of emergency management."

Midway officials have also been unhappy with the county's position on emergency-management funding, and have had other conflicts with Coyle and the fiscal court. Mayor Tom Bozarth, who is not seeking re-election this fall, told the Midway Messenger in an email, "I am not in favor of having a unified government. Midway will lose its identity forever."

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